Daily Mail is officially UK's most complained about newspaper - but regionals most likely to be censured by PCC - Press Gazette

Daily Mail is officially UK's most complained about newspaper - but regionals most likely to be censured by PCC

The Daily Mail is officially the UK’s most complained about newspaper, according to new analysis of information put out by the Press Complaints Commission.

But local newspapers are more likely to be censured by the PCC than the Mail, which did not have any upheld complaints published against it last year.

The PCC does not provide a ‘league of shame’ when it publishes its annual complaints statistics. So Hacked Off has done the job for it, looking at the monthly summaries of complaints published by the PCC.

These relate to complaints which have been dealt with by the PCC, but may or may not have been upheld.

Most complaints in 2013 were about the Daily Mail (1,214) followed by The Sun (638), Daily Telegraph (300), Daily Mirror (242), Mail on Sunday (168), The Guardian (142), The People (122), Metro (101), The Times (96) and The Independent (72).

Full list available on the Huffington Post here.

Hacked Off describes the PCC's failure to publish such a list as a 'cover-up'. Its biggest financial supporters – the Daily Mail group, Telegraph Media Group and News UK – do not come well out of the exercise.

It is worth noting that these are just total complaints, not upheld complaints, and the titles with the biggest readerships are likely to attract more complainers.

When it comes to publications being censured by the PCC for bad behaviour, the wrongdoing was far more spread out.

The PCC issued critical adjudications on 15 occasions in 2013. Seven of these cases involved local newspapers:

  • Midhurst and Petworth Observer
  • Croydon Advertiser
  • Herald and Post (Luton)
  • News Shopper (Bexley and North Kent)
  • South Wales Argus
  • Kent and Sussex Courier
  • Wee County News

Six national newspapers had adjudications where they broke the code:

  • The Guardian
  • Mail on Sunday
  • The Sun
  • The Sunday Times
  • The Scottish Sun
  • Daily Mirror

Two magazines were censured:

  • That’s Life
  • Reveal

According to the PCC's annual stats there were 12,763 complaints last year of which it got involved with 2,050, by brokering resolutions or publishing ulings.

In the case of 103 complaints the PCC said the code had been breached, but the publisher had dealt with the matter by offering sufficient redress

In 461 cases resolutions were mediated by the PCC.

In 1,455 cases there was no breach of the code, the PCC said

And in 15 cases a breach of the code was upheld.

Last year the PCC issued advisory notices to the press on 127 occasions when members of the public were concerned about intrusion or harassment.

According to the PCC, some 53.8 per cent of complaints it investigated involved the national press, 28.9 per cent regional newspapers, 10.1 per cent Scottish newspapers, 2.5 per cent Irish newspapers and 4.2 per cent magazines.

Some 451 users of PCC services responded to its own survey last year. It found that in 71 per cent of cases "respondents felt that taking everything into account about the service provided by the PCC that their case had been handled satisfactorily, well or very well".




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Author: Dominic Ponsford

Dominic Ponsford is the editor of Press Gazette


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